Giving the house an extra bit of TLC (tender loving care) before putting it on the market will make all the difference to the sale, says garden landscaper, Owen Chubb. “Today outdoor living has become more of a priority and it’s not surprising that many consider the garden a critically important aspect when buying a house.”
Specifically, Owen advises would-be house sellers to:
- Remember to ensure ‘kerb appeal’
- Take the dog for a walk
- Ensure the grass is always greener
- Stop and smell the roses
- Keep the Focus
- Don’t forget the social areas!
Research figures show that when it comes to viewings, prospective buyers form an opinion within 30 seconds of seeing the property’s exterior. Known as ‘Kerb Appeal’, how the buyers initially react to the exterior can have a major impact on eventual interest. Since the exterior is the first thing a buyer will see, first impressions are very important. This critical 30 seconds could make the difference between a sale and disappointment. An effective use of colour and style should provide a seamless transition from the house interior to the ‘outdoor room’ or garden areas.
Take the dog for a walk
To get some ideas on where to start, you should take some time to walk around your local area and see how your house compares:
- Is the garden above/below average standard for the area?
- Are the fencing, paintwork and paved areas in good condition?
- Are trees and shrubs neat and tidy?
- Are lawn areas groomed, green and refreshing or simply jaded weedy patches?
“Once you have surveyed your surroundings, and have both an idea of what is popular and in keeping with the other houses, you need to make yours stand out from all the others”.
Ensure the Grass is Always Greener
Lawns should be in good condition, evenly cut with crisp, well-defined edges, weeded and cleared of all grass cuttings and fallen leaves. If the colour is not vivid, consider feeding with lawn fertiliser. If the problems are more serious and lawn is infested with weeds, it might be better to replace old lawn with new turf. A well maintained groomed lawn – whatever the size – makes a striking impression.
Stop and Smell the Roses
Make the garden a bright, airy and appealing place to be. This is easily achieved by dead-heading old flowers, trimming and pruning shrubs and trees, especially those that are low hanging or overgrown – especially around windows and over footpaths.
Spring sees the start of the new gardening year. Garden centres are bursting with plants, flowers and bulbs which are all great for bright, eye-catching displays.
When planting, don’t underestimate the power of scent which can be an exciting experience in the garden. Owen advises to try planting scented shrubs near windows or better still near seating areas and along footpath edges. There are plenty of plant types to choose from including Shrubs, herbaceous and Herbs, e.g., Lavenders, Santolinas, Helichrysums, Lillies, Roses, Dill, Thyme, Rosemary etc
Keep the Focus
Create a focal point in order to draw the buyer’s eye and give the garden a purpose – and again, this is easily done with a strategically placed bench, water feature or sculpture.
Containers add drama to the entrance of a house. Choose them to complement their surroundings. Avoid small pots – they don’t hold many plants and tend to dry out very quickly. Terracotta, stoneware and glazed containers are relatively inexpensive and come in all shapes and sizes.
Make the most of the patio – an illusion of a larger space can be created by investing in a small ‘Tea for Two’ table. Candles add some romance to the patio so sellers should try to have some lighting when the house is viewed.
A small investment can result in a face lift for the patio – hire a power washer to remove accumulated surface grime and moss. The power washer will even pull up some of the smaller weeds, saving some back ache! A few strategically positioned colourful planters can have a dramatic effect at or near Patio areas or in overlooked recessed areas
Other tips from Owen include:
- All doors, windows, drains and down pipes should be cleared of webs, washed and any debris removed
- Garden outbuildings and sheds might benefit from a coat of paint
- Toys should be stored away neatly
- Water features and pond areas should be cleaned and pumps in good working order
- Check garden lights and replace any faulty light bulbs;
- Check driveway areas for any signs of engine oil, remove any stains with proprietary cleaners
Source: Owen Chubb www.owenchubblandscapers.com